General Alexander M. Tuthill’s military career began when he enlisted in a cavalry troop of the California National Guard. He served with the unit while attending medical school at the University of Southern California. He was honorably discharged before accepting a position as a surgeon at the Detroit Mining Company Hospital.
He eventually returned to the military, and on August 5, 1910, he was promoted to Colonel commanding the 1st Arizona Infantry. Called into federal service on May 9, 1916, the regiment joined other U.S. Troops under the command of General John J. Pershing, protecting Arizona Border towns against raids by the Mexican Revolutionary Pancho Villa.
On August 2, 1917, the 1st Arizona Infantry was designated as the 158th Infantry Regiment. On August 5, 1917, Colonel Tuthill was promoted to Brigadier General commanding the 79th Infantry Brigade 40th Division. General Tuthill was one of the youngest Brigade commanders in WW I and one of the very few National Guard officers selected for promotion to Brigadier General.
In 1933 he was promoted to Major General, commanding the 45th Infantry Division, until September 23, 1935, at the mandatory retirement age of 64. The General’s military career, however, was not ended. In 1936, he was named Adjutant General of the Arizona National Guard, serving in that capacity until 1952. He also served as State Director of Selective Service from 1946 to 1952 and State Director of Civil Defense 1942-45 and 1950-51. On August 16, 1951, a retirement parade and ceremony was held at Fort Huachuca, Arizona, honoring the General and his many contributions to the state and nation. The General, often referred to as “The Father of the Arizona National Guard,” passed away on May 25, 1958.